The late night commercials have begun to invade the daytime as well promising a good career as an over the road trucker. Truck driver jobs are there for those willing to find a satisfying position in an established trucking firm, or even for those wishing to strike out on their own and run an independent rig. But ever since the 1980s, the industry has seen a decline in big rig drivers due to a few factors. The industry still tries to corral these dropping statistics, but the truck driver shortage continues unabated. It is estimated that in ten years, the field will be short by a million drivers.
Truck Driver Shortage
Undeniably, long haul trucking isn’t for everyone. Highly regulated hours, long periods of time away from home, increasing fuel prices, and a plethora of other factors contribute to slowing fulfillment of truck driver jobs. In essence, it’s a shortage fueled by time and money. Not enough time to spend with family, too much time on the road, increased costs of operating a rig, and average salaries not matching to the annual increase in cost of living.
Nationally, the average truck driver is bringing in $38,000 a year, and as costs of rig operations increase on an almost monthly basis, the salaries are not. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Truck Driver Jobs
To make the position more profitable and therefore a more economically sound decision for a driver new to the field, a strict adherence to budgeting practices must be followed. Every penny must be accounted for, and a young driver should always be seeking higher paying gigs and paying attention to the demands of their supervisors. The job is a fantastic way to make a living, but only if cared for and treated as a serious business. If it decays into just a way to make a buck, then it is unlikely the driver will see any career growth. There’s an element of personal responsibility and self interest on the road. It is the driver who is the one to look out for themselves as no one else will when it comes down to it.
Beyond a Driver’s Control
The truck driver shortage can also find roots with similar skill sets, such as the increased demand for local CDL drivers and construction positions. Here, a starting salary overshadows a trucker’s starting pay by a considerable amount and keeps them close to home. The down side, however, is the lack of future demand and of course the absence of the open road.
Filling truck driver jobs will continue to be a focus of the industry, and for those that stick to it, it will be a career worth the growing pains.